In March of 2023, Steel City Roller Derby skater, coach, and friend Barbara Montgomery, known to us affectionately as S'FYA, passed away after a long, hard-fought battle with breast cancer. She leaves behind a long legacy that will not be forgotten. She is loved by so many - her sons, LJ and Brayden, her wife Tia, her parents CJ and Terence, her brother Rudy, her derby sister Raven, all of her Steel City Roller Derby league mates, and countless others who knew and loved her across the country.
She began her roller derby career in 2013 with Youngstown Area Roller Derby (formerly known as Little Steel) and decided on the perfect derby name - S'FYA or Something For Ya Ass. It suited her joyful personality perfectly, and it was clear from early on she would be a force to be reckoned with on roller skates. S'FYA was known for her strong shoulder hits, but also for her leadership, friendship, and passion for not only the sport of roller derby but the people in the community. S'FYA was the most encouraging and supportive person you will ever meet - everyone who knew her has a story about her kindness and selflessness. When she was undergoing cancer treatment the derby community rallied behind her with love and support - spreading the #SFYAStrong hashtag far and wide, supporting her with donations and by sporting S'FYA Strong bracelets, patches, and t-shirts. She was determined to show cancer she wouldn't give up without a fight. She remained positive and hopeful throughout her entire cancer journey and sought joy and fulfillment in her community even as cancer took her ability to skate. It was important to her to continue her involvement in her passions and she maintained her positivity and light even through unimaginable stress and pain.
S'FYA was a titan in the roller derby community and was a leader for SCRD and many other teams she was a part of. Over the course of her derby career she was a proud member of the Steel Hurtin' and Ohio All Stars, as well as Pennsylvania All Stars and Steel City home team Mon Monsters where she served as captain. She received countless MVP and league awards for her efforts, but her proudest moment came in late 2022 when she successfully won two official reviews in one game as a coach.
Love and admiration for S'FYA does not end in Pittsburgh -- her impact has been felt, both literally and figuratively, across the country. Her passion and her fight have long been inspiration for those who knew and loved her. Her legacy runs deep in Steel City and to ensure that her presence is always felt, we will be retiring her jersey number, 187. S'FYA's memory lives on in her family, her friends, and the skaters who looked up to her. We are committed to keeping S'FYA's legacy alive in SCRD and will be working with her family to determine how best to honor her for the years to come.
Please take a moment to remember S'Fya by watching the below tribute video, or by clicking through this image gallery, curated by Raymond Durkin.